Spears, Williams headline Tulane’s draft class

Mark Keplinger, Sports Editor

Tyjae Spears and Dorian Williams were drafted into the NFL, becoming the latest of the Green Wave to join the league. They headline a draft class that also saw eight other Tulanians signed as undrafted free agents.

With the 81st pick in the draft, the Tennessee Titans selected running back Spears in the third round. Spears will complement all-pro running back Derrick Henry in the backfield. While Henry is a physically imposing and powerful runner, Spears is quick, agile and a threat in the passing game. 

The Titans are in a transitional phase as they still have questions surrounding who will play quarterback for them. Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis and 2023 second-round selection Will Levis will all compete for the starting job. Regardless, Spears will become a versatile weapon for Tennessee. 

With the 91st pick in the draft, the Buffalo Bills selected linebacker Williams in the third round. The Bills needed to fill the linebacker spot following the departure of Tremaine Edmunds to the Chicago Bears. Williams is a valuable player who plays well against both the pass and rush.

The Bills are still a likely contender for the Super Bowl. While quarterback Josh Allen leads an offense that is ranked as second best in the league, Williams is hoping to improve the sixth best defense. 

After the draft’s conclusion, six other Tulanians signed with teams across the league. 

Linebacker Nick Anderson signed with the New Orleans Saints. Making his move from Uptown to downtown, Anderson will likely play special teams with the Saints given his experience at Tulane and solid ability as a tackler.

Safety Larry Brooks III signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Like Anderson, Brooks is a good special teams player, which will boost his chances of being rostered. On defense, Brooks is capable of playing a variety of coverage schemes and has a knack for intercepting the ball. The Bengals ranked 10th worst in passing defense last season.

Defensive back Macon Clark signed with the Chicago Bears. Clark is capable of playing as a safety and as a nickelback. The Bears’ passing defense was average last year, ranking 17th out of the 32 teams.

Safety Lummie Young IV signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Young played special teams as well and is a sure tackler. The Colts had the 15th best defense in the league last season.

Tight end Tyrick James signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. The defending champions are adding a red zone threat to an already potent offense. James caught 13 touchdowns in five years at Tulane.

Tight end Will Wallace signed with the Washington Commanders. Wallace, at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 240 pounds, possesses good size and can be molded by the Commanders into a player they want to see.

Wide receiver Shae Wyatt signed with the San Francisco 49ers. The Tulane wideout had nearly 700 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season in a breakout campaign. He is joining a crowded receiver core headlined by Deebo Samuel, Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk.

Wide receiver Duece Watts signed with the Green Bay Packers. Watts showed incredible body control and contested catch ability last year in an impressive season. The Packers are in an offensive transition with the departure of long-time quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so Watts must work with new starter Jordan Love.

Leave a Comment